West Union improves to 2-1 with win over North Adams –
Story by Mark Carpenter –
Photos by Jase Brinker –
It was an all-county gridiron battle last Friday evening at Freedom Field in West Union as the Dragons played host to the North Adams Green Devils. A large continent of fans from both sides filled the bleachers and walkways around the field, but it was only the West Union faithful who went home happy as their Dragons rolled to a 44-0 halftime lead, and an eventual 51-0 victory.
“Our guys came ready to play tonight,” said West Union head coach Scott McFarland. “They understood the importance of our local rivalry game with North Adams and had a solid week of practice. We certainly had the advantage with depth but I thought North Adams played very hard and should feel good about their progress as a program.”
After going out on downs in their first possession of the game, the Dragons got on the board first when a seven-play drive culminated in a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Rothwell to senior wideout Zack Best. Chris Silhavy ran in the two-point try to give West Union an 8-0 lead.
After a North Adams punt, the home team lit up the scoreboard again, this time on a Silhavy touchdown run. The senior halfback added another two-point conversion to make it 16-0. after the first quarter of action.
The second period began with a turnover by the Green Devils, which the Dragons capitalized on in one play, getting a 40-yard scoring pass from Ryan Rothwell to his brother Tyler. This time the two-point try failed, but the Dragons were still building a comfortable lead, now at 22-0. On the next North Adams possession, West Union senior defensive tackle Anthony Barr got through to the quarterback and his hit caused the ball to pop up in the air, where it was picked off by defensive end Jacob Fox, who took it to the house for the score. Another Silhavy conversion made it 30-0.
After the Dragons defense force another punt, a second scoring pass from Rothwell to Best plus the extra point made it 37-0, and late in the half, running back Dallas Waldron went 40 yards on a jet sweep to give the home side a commanding 44-0 lead at the intermission.
With the running clock instituted for the second half, the Dragons got a touchdown run from sophomore Dylan Grooms in the third quarter and another extra point to go up 51-0, which is how the game was to end with the Dragons racking up 498 yards of total offense.
“Our goal was to come out and control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and I felt like we did a good job of that,” said Coach McFarland. “We had some nice plays by some young guys and got everyone some playing time which helps us develop our depth and experience. We have been working on offensive balance with running and passing and were able to make some big plays in both tonight.”
North Adams head coach Justin Schmitz was not pleased with his team’s overall performance on Friday night.
“It was a great game played by West Union, but we played sloppy football,” said Schmitz. “You can’t win games if you don’t execute the basic fundamentals. Right now our team doesn’t respond to adversity well. We played toe to toe with them for the first series and then we hung our heads and began to feel sorry for ourselves after their first score. Right now we just need to work on mental toughness.”
There were some special guests also on hand for Friday night’s game as the Venture Ignite Dance Team performed the halftime show.
“We certainly want to thank them for being part of halftime and our game tonight,” said McFarland. “They are such a blessing to our county and always do a great job and we love to see their smiles. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Friday night football at Freedom Field.”
Both teams will be in action again this Friday night with the Dragons facing a tough road trip to Landmark Christian, while the Devils will be at Freedom Field for their Homecoming Night against Eastern Brown.
Another new tradition for the North Adams-Eastern rivalry will begin as Friday night’s game has been dubbed the first “Keg Game,” where the winning team will each season take home a specially painted keg trophy.
“It’s my hope that someday the young men who play in this game will have sons who also play in this rivalry game and can look at this trophy and realize that this new tradition is more than a game,” said Coach Schmitz. “It’s about tradition, pride, and representing their town, their teams, and all the guys that played in the game that came before them.”
Records- West Union 2-1, North Adams 0-3